Eternal Return


The greatest weight.— What, if some day or night a demon were to steal after you into your loneliest loneliness and say to you: “This life as you now live it and have lived it, you will have to live once more and innumerable times more; and there will be nothing new in it, but every pain and every joy and every thought and sigh and everything unutterably small or great in your life will have to return to you, all in the same succession and sequence – even this spider and this moonlight between the trees, and even this moment and I myself. The eternal hourglass of existence is turned upside down again and again, and you with it, speck of dust!”
Would you not throw yourself down and gnash your teeth and curse the demon who spoke thus?… Or how well disposed would you have to become to yourself and to life to crave nothing more fervently than this ultimate eternal confirmation and seal?


Nietzsche’s The Gay Science, s.341, Walter Kaufmann transl.

old leaves fall so easily from the ancient wisdom trees
the wizened skin by the snake is so effortless to leave
but for the snake the new will be no different as before
even trees will offer similar life at springtime’s door

year after year we abandon to which we soon return
winter’s cold tears ever arouse in our summer’s burn
yet joy enrages the one smoldering in sorrow’s wrongs
for when he feels the sun he clings to shadows gone

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